Of late, politics has been particularly nasty and overly repetitive. Russia! Russia! Russia! Trump tweeted something. Something was sexist, or racist, or some other thing. And then there’s a contingent of folks who are non-ironically bringing Nazi shit back. No, I’m not talking about being anything right-of-center (we’re all Nazis according to the political Left), I mean folks who actually break out the swastikas, Hitler quotes, and Jewish conspiracy theories.
All of this is too much. It’s headache-inducing. At one point, I could laugh at politics. Bill Clinton couldn’t keep it in his pants, George Bush tried to eat a pretzel, and we all remember the flying shoe of death. Rubio robot recited his lines, Chris Christie was a giant donut, and Trump blamed Megyn Kelly’s foibles on Rosie O’Donnell.
Today, the amusement has been sucked dry, and replaced with the constant bleating of sheep. It’s not funny anymore. Everything is identity politics. Everything. You can’t have a glass of milk without someone saying that milk is white, therefore racist. You can’t enjoy Chinese takeout without accusations of microaggressions. You can’t even fish in my neck of the woods without some PETA protesters coming by and dumping your catch into the sea and calling you a murderer.
Most folks in the world just want to be left alone. And that is precisely what cannot be countenanced these days.
Well, to hell with that. I’m going to take a break from politics for at least a few days. Maybe I’ll write about whiskey, or technology, or Byzantine history. I don’t know.
But no politics.
I highly recommend other folks do the same from time-to-time. This level of politicization cannot be good for anybody.
I had a long successor post on Marxism planned for today, but the workload is too much for that, presently. So enjoy a few little tidbits before we move on to Part 2.
First off, if you’re a regular reader of The Declination, you are no doubt familiar with Francis over at Liberty’s Torch. And today, he has reminded me in rather amusing fashion that he is, in fact, an engineer. After all, only an engineer would use a term like PDOOMA (Pulled Directly Out Of My Ass). He goes on at some length to discuss the problems with climate simulations, and why the ones currently utilized are likely to be about as accurate as a crystal ball at a trailer park psychic’s home. This would be amusing enough, but then he resurrects an old post from Eternity Road to tell us, at some length about PDOOMA, and how to tell when a bad actor is doing exactly that with his statistics.
I highly recommend both pieces. Between both posts, it explains almost every objection I have to the notion of “man-made climate change.”
Second, this morning I became aware of an interesting tizzy going down on Facebook. Jon Del Arroz, an up-and-coming conservative author, managed to rustle the jimmies of Mike Glyer, of Vile 770 fame. Larry Correia and Brad Torgersen soon joined in, with Mike Glyer periodically slinging insults at Larry, to the effect of how stupid everyone else was, and how smart and special Glyer himself was. Mike Glyer often tries to hide under a veneer of respectability, but his SJW instincts steered him badly off kilter today.
It’s all rather amusing stuff. Feel free to peruse and laugh. Naturally, I had a few contributions to the thread as well. Vile 770 is, in effect, an intellectual equivalent of a sewage treatment plant, where Mike Glyer tries to put a nice face on some very nasty Progressive characters, whose primary reason for posting at Vile 770 is to sling hate on conservative authors.
Francis talks about Garbage In, Garbage Out. Well, there’s Mike Glyer’s place for you, in a nutshell. Here is a reliably-informed diagram of the inner workings of File 770:
I’ll leave you with my own estimation of Mike Glyer’s intellectual prowess:
Also, it’s worth noting that Mike Glyer’s insults basically boil down to “neener neener, I’m smarter than you.” It’s the sort of childish taunting you’d hear in an elementary school playground. It’s also projection in its pure form.
You see, Mr. Glyer probably spent most of his youth getting smoke blown up his ass about how special he was, how beautiful and unique he was, like some kind of special snowflake. Now, reality came and ran over his puffed-up dreams like a goddamn freight train. Here men like Larry Correia and Jon Del Arroz do good for themselves, and Glyer has to be thinking “why can’t I be that good, I’m special, I’m smart, I’m a snowflake?”
Here’s a life lesson for you, sir. The people who blew smoke up your ass when you grew up were liars. Every damn one of them. All of the buttslurping pond scum at Vile770 are as useless as you are, sir. You’ve contributed nothing of value to this planet, certainly nothing worth getting paid the kind of money Larry makes. You are the architecture critic who never built a building, the movie critic who never held a camera, the political pundit who can’t even be bothered to crawl his lard-filled, twinkie-stuffing ass to the voting booth.
Socrates once explained that he couldn’t find a wise man, and he himself was not wise. But he was wiser than some for knowing this. And every time you crawl out from whatever cesspit you hail from and insult your betters, I am reminded that though I’m no great shakes in the success department either, compared to the likes of Larry, I’ve got one up on you for at least not being a pretentious, delusional fuckwit staring at my own reflection like Narcissus, with his face plastered and drunk in front of a toilet full of his own vile spew.
For those who aren’t yet aware, prominent second amendment defender Bob Owens took his own life. It’s not apparent why he chose to this. A cryptic and short message was left on his Facebook wall: “In the end, it turns out that I’m not strong. I’m a coward, and a selfish son of a bitch. I’m sorry.”
I don’t know him personally, so I’ve no idea what prompted this action. All I can say is, the Progressive trolls are out in full force celebrating his death. Indeed, one posted on his Facebook page (in full view of his family) that it would be great if all of them killed themselves. Tolerance truly is a one-way street in the minds of the Progressive. My good friend Nicki has a great deal to say on that, among other things.
There’s not much I can say in comfort to the folks who knew him, some of whom may be readers of The Declination.
Some years back, I lost a good friend to suicide. His death was unexpected. He left no notes, no reasons why. To this day, it bothers me. I wonder if there was something I could have done, something I failed to notice. I’m never able to latch on to something, and that’s maddening in itself. I can’t imagine how Bob’s wife and daughters feel right now.
I don’t understand suicide. Oh, intellectually it’s a simple enough concept. But it’s not a thing I can really wrap my head around, partly because I’m stubborn as all hell. I can’t imagine the level of resignation and depression that would trigger such a thing, because for me, I’m much more likely to get angry than depressed.
But I know it’s not that way for everyone, as it clearly was not for Bob Owens. So all I can really say is, if you feel as he did, if you are resigned and depressed, don’t bottle it all up. Don’t hide it from everyone. If I would have known something was wrong with my own friend, I would have done everything in my power to help him. But your friends and family cannot do this if they don’t know you have a problem. Speak up. Tell those who care about you. Perhaps it may embarrass you, perhaps you may be afraid of admitting your problem. But no help will be forthcoming if nobody knows.
In many ways, the world has turned against folks like us. If you’re white, male, Christian, straight — or any combination thereof — you are bombarded constantly with how evil, terrible, and guilty you are because of things you did not do. Atrocities you did not commit, nor would ever allow if you could prevent them. And if you crack under the pressure, the people trashing you will celebrate your demise. Indeed, they will clamor with joy and tell your family that they should follow you into death, because you have committed the great crime of wrongthink.
I don’t know if any of that has any connection with why Bob chose to take his own life. I can say it most assuredly didn’t help. In the end, the decision was still his, and his alone. And it is sad that he made that most irrevocable of choices. As they say, it’s a permanent solution to a temporary problem.
Taking responsibility is part of being a man. It’s an age old axiom. When a man fails, when he screws up, it behooves him to admit his failure and to endeavor to repair it, if he is able.
But no man is responsible for another. To steal a concept from Francis, if Jones commits a crime, and Smith does not, how can Smith be held responsible, even in part, for the crime of Jones?
Yet generalities exist to muddy the waters for us. Islam has proven itself to be more militant and prone to terrorism than any other modern religion (unless we were to call Marxism a religion). Islam has always had bloody borders, and the religion has changed little since the seventh century. Clear answers to questions like these are often difficult, and can lead to excessive moralizing.
Excessive moralizing is one of the greatest sins of our age, for Smith is made to question his own culpability in the crimes of Jones. If both Smith and Jones share a skin tone, and Jones has done some evil deed, what is Smith’s share in the deed? What if Smith tried his best to stop Jones from committing his crime?
Today, having white skin often means being held as somehow generally responsible for the ills of Indians, Black folks, the sufferings of the Jews, and so on. Yet, like Smith, most of us have not done these things, nor would countenance them. Additionally, many of our ancestors fought to prevent such things. If you account men who fought the Nazis among your ancestors, how could the deeds of the Nazis be weighed against you?
Social Justice Warriors, of course, do not care. You are white, thus the crimes of Jones fall upon you, and you are advised that you must take responsibility for them. You must pay the weregild, you must give up your success and step aside, you must bear Jones’s punishment too. Some fools even suggest that reading to your own children is unfair to other children, for it gives them a leg up in the world.
Such punishments can include your own death, and that of your entire civilization. It is not difficult to find SJWs musing on the utopian world that would come to pass should white Christian males be made extinct. Indeed, Huffington Post publishes columnists who argue that they should be deprived of the vote, so that it may be made easier to “redistribute” their wealth (oddly enough, this was a hoax, and HuffPo fell for it – wishful thinking, perhaps?). #KillAllMen, of course, is also acceptable and amenable to the SJW authorities.
If you dare to complain, you are tarred as racist scum. Carry the burden of another man’s sin, in addition to your own. Suffer the punishments for another man’s mistakes, in addition to your own. You are supposed to check your privilege every moment of every day. When a progressive feminist speaks, you are to be silent and listen. Good allies should be seen, and not heard. They are not shy about this, as the aforementioned article explains:
As McKenzie puts it, “Shut up and listen.”
As someone striving to be an ally, the most important thing we can do is listen to as many voices of those we’re allying ourselves with as possible…
…Sure, your privilege may afford you the spotlight sometimes, and there are times when you can use that spotlight to talk to people who share your identity (see #8), but whenever possible, allies turn that spotlight away from themselves and to the voices that are so often marginalized and ignored.
Being a supposed ally means nothing to them. It neither alleviates your guilt, nor mitigates the punishments due to you for the supposed crimes of Jones. Being a proper progressive doesn’t mean you won’t get stabbed on a train for being a chump.
Talk to a Leftist, and he will complain that dead people who looked vaguely similar to you perpetrated horrific crimes against humanity (while ignoring similar crimes perpetuated by people who didn’t look much like you). The Trail of Tears was your fault, so was slavery, the Holocaust, colonialism, why Somalia sucks today, and why it sucked 500 years ago, and why an overweight lesbian couldn’t get a taxi cab in Manhattan at 4 in the afternoon on a Friday – whatever. It’s all your fault. Carry the sins, accept the punishment, give up your wealth (there was a hashtag running around social media some time ago called #GiveYourMoneyToWomen), shut up and stay in your lane.
Christ could carry the weight of the world, the plethora of sins committed by mankind. I, however, am unable to do so. I’m just a man, a regular Joe. I work, I pay my taxes (I’d rather not, but it’s not like the IRS gives us a choice in the matter), I have a family, same as any other. I screw up a lot, and the weight of my own responsibilities is, on occasion, rather crushing on its own. I am not Atlas, and SJWs can sit there and try to put the weight of the world on my shoulders, but it’ll never work. It’ll never do any good.
Folks, I don’t know how much of your thinking has been wasted on the matter of social justice and progressivism. A good man might ask himself if, perhaps, he really ought to carry these chains, if you are Jacob Marley to their Ebenezer Scrooge. But the question is moot to begin with. You can’t carry these chains, whether you wanted to or not. They are too big for you. They will destroy you. When you look into the face of an SJW, you are seeing someone who was already destroyed by this weight. Their psyches cracked under the pressure. They are no longer sane, or even themselves. It is almost like they are all possessed.
This man is broken. The woman next to him is damaged, also.
You see this sort of smug, superior grin in the face of an SJW. But behind it is utter madness. These are broken people, whose actions are no longer rational in any sense. Some can only gain satisfaction from submission, from emotional and intellectual (and sometimes physical) masochism and self-flagellation. Some can’t even gain it from that, anymore. Some have surrendered completely to animus possession. These people are no longer free-thinking individuals, capable of making decisions. They are, rather, individuals who have completely lost touch with reality. Unable to cope with the weight of the world, they seek to unload it on others. It’s your fault, not theirs. Nothing is their fault, they are perfect, you are to blame for everything.
Animus Possession gone completely off the rails. This woman hates you for existing. Everything bad in the world is your fault, because you exist.
Underneath it all, of course, they hate themselves. This has given rise to people who say things like “I won’t have children, because they would be white.” Or other folks, like Rachel Dolezal and Shaun King, who desperately wish to be black, perhaps because they could escape the weight of the world by identifying with the oppressed instead of the oppressor.
Weaponized Empathy has destroyed these people, body and soul. They mutilate themselves, hate themselves, rail against the very society that created them, and then seek to unload their shame and self-loathing on to others. Look at this before-and-after comparison of the woman who was punched in the face, while trying to hit Trump supporters with a wine bottle:
This woman made a mess of herself.
This is what happens to people who try to carry more mental weight than they can handle. A man who does this will be destroyed utterly. It causes you to question your worth as an individual, and once you have deemed yourself worthless, it is easy to do as these people have done. Now it doesn’t matter if you degrade yourself, objectify yourself, attack people, and destroy lives.
Nothing else matters except some short-term pleasure, just a bit of petty satisfaction at attacking an easy target. And then the target decides to fight back, depriving you of even that pleasure.
In some way, I pity the SJWs.
I’m going to be very real with you for a moment, and take off my hat has a blogger, an author, and whatever else I may be, and just speak to you as a man.
This could have been me.
Does that surprise you? There was a time I skirted so close to falling under this spell, it would shock you. I felt the guilt, the social pressure, the desire for conformity. Despite the terrible weight such ideology carries on the mind, it is absurdly easy to fall into it. Every day we are assaulted by the agitprop. It is so easy to just say “yes, it’s all my fault, I will submit and obey.”
It will bring momentary relief, because you will no longer have to fight a narrative that is bombarded upon you 24 hours a day. That mental effort is, itself, rather exhausting on the mind. But if you accept the chains, that is a far greater weight, one that will destroy you. The chains are seductive. They call, because of the enormous weight of social power behind them.
The pressure is both great and subtle. Imagine a conversation about the weather, innocent enough on its own. A friend might say “wow, that global warming sure is kicking in today!” You’ve a few choices here. You can challenge him, but the immediate counter is likely to be something like “well, 99% of scientists agree, sooooo….” The implication, of course, is that you are stupid for disagreeing with 99% of scientists (whether or not there is any truth to that claim, either). You could remain silent because it’s easier. Or you could just give in, regardless of the truth of the matter, because it’s easiest. Meanwhile, if you counter your friend successfully, you may be down a friend by the end of the night.
So whether or not a lot of folks believe this thing, soon consensus is reached, as much to peer pressure as anything else. Then it is, further, easier to agree on welfare, tax policy, affirmative action, black lives matter, social justice, etc… Each one has a superficial rhetorical argument which sounds nice, and which has enormous media programming and social pressure behind it.
A thousand such chats happen every day, both in the real world, and the social media world. The sum total of which is designed to move you, via peer pressure and Weaponized Empathy, toward self-hatred, and intense personal guilt for things which you neither did, nor were capable of preventing.
Soon a man might find himself agreeing with lunatic propositions that all Republicans are literal Nazis, and Donald Trump is worse than Hitler because… well, nobody really knows the reasons.
Submission is always the easier short-term choice. Long-term, however, it just destroys a man’s soul. Sooner or later he’s just a meat puppet. And who might he be a meat puppet for? Who pulls his strings?
Tom Kratman’s Class Ones, self-centered and semi-incompetent oligarchs, run the show. They are the ultimate beneficiaries of all this. The Clintons and other corrupt political dynasties. A handful of Leftist executives and corporate cronies are also among them. Celebrities, media talking heads, etc…
They talk out of their asses, and wrap themselves up in flags, but they believe in nothing. You think Chelsea Clinton gives a fig about a black thug shot by a cop? You think she cares about the plight of an illegal Mexican family, crossing into the country?
No. Deep down, I doubt even the SJWs really believe this. But it doesn’t matter. They have been destroyed by the weight of the world, conveniently offloaded by politicians and leaders around the world onto hapless people who are incapable of carrying such moral weight. It’s never a Clinton’s fault, after all.
It’s your fault. Or, perhaps, some semi-anonymous Islamophobic videographer. Whatever.
Look, I’m fond of saying that I’m just a regular guy. And there’s a reason for that. There are some very strong-willed, intelligent people out there who can resist this agitprop and social pressure without much effort. For some, it is easy to shrug it off and pay no mind to it. But that’s not most folks. Marxists are great psychological manipulators. It is their one great talent, and it is enough that it nearly makes up for all their other intellectual shortcomings, which are legion. Most folks are vulnerable, at some level.
And resisting psychological manipulation is not easy for most people. It’s not enough to just say “don’t be brainwashed.” Folks need to know how the brainwashing works, how it can be identified and resisted, how you can avoid going down the path that leads to people who can’t even figure out what gender they want to be, or what ethnicity they are, or what pronoun they feel like using today. These are people who can’t even say “hey man, how’s it going” without being triggered. They are constantly on the look out for the most minor of violations against the political narrative, their entire mind, body, and soul hijacked to serve political figures who care nothing for them (indeed, who probably laugh at their gullibility behind closed doors).
You owe them nothing. You aren’t responsible for the crimes of the world, except those in which you have directly and willingly participated. Anyone, and I do mean anyone who says otherwise is attempting to manipulate you, and place chains upon you. It is, often times, difficult to resist the allure of just giving up the fight. It’s so much easier to throw in the towel, and jump when someone else tells you to. When damn near everyone accuses you of something, to just say “yes, I’m guilty.”
But you can’t. I can’t. And even if I could make such a choice for myself, I cannot make it for my family, for my country, for my civilization.
You are not Atlas, and you do not need to suffer his punishment. You are not Christ, and you will never be morally perfect, and can never carry the weight of another’s sins (you will have enough trouble with your own).
The esteemed Sarah Hoyt has written a great followup to Marxism: the Bug Wearing an Edgar Suit. As we know, the Left infiltrates institutions, guts them, and wears the skin of the destroyed institution, demanding the respect once due to the original. They then use this to destroy individuals who do not cooperate with the politically correct narrative. Marxists may be terrible economists, and inverted moralists, but they are quite good at playing political games. It may be the only real talent they have.
Unfortunately that talent is generally sufficient to launch them to the fore.
Sarah explains for us:
There was a time — listen to me, children — when the left had the power to utterly destroy anyone they chose to.
They would descend in a swarm, find some little thing you had said, take it out of context, then pound you with it until you no longer had a job, a marriage, any friends willing to admit to knowing you.
Actually it wasn’t even required that they take something you said and take it out of context. They controlled all the gate keeping positions and a whisper campaign could go out — the equivalent of having your papers stamped PU for Politically Unreliable — and depending on how much money they could make off you, you’d either be turned out without references (so to put it) or, in my field, be kept in midlist durance vile. (In other fields there are equivalents, where you do all the work, but never get anywhere with money, let alone power.)
This is partly how they GOT all the gatekeeping positions, and kept them, or in other words, how they gutted all the important institutions of our culture and then wore the institutions’ skin, demanding respect.
Most of us on the Right have dealt with this. The options were generally to hide your political views, and stuff yourself into the Conservative closet, or to suffer significant penalties to your career, your social life, and your income. The Left made Conservatism expensive in terms of social capital. However, as Sarah tells us, the Left had to spend vast amounts of capital themselves in order to achieve this. They had to take over academia, the media, entertainment, and infiltrate pretty much every sizable institution in the country. In simple terms, they needed a monopoly.
Because if a Right-winger had the ability to leave the places where the Left held sway, he could no longer be silenced.
The Edgar suit has been slipping away for quite some time now. In 2016, the media’s skin suit slipped off entirely. Their hatred of Trump was so great, and their love of Hillary so complete, that the skin suit cracked and fell apart. Everyone knows the media is partisan now. The fiction of an unbiased, impartial purveyor of news has fallen away forever. And here’s the kicker: all of this vast expenditure of social capital was insufficient to topple Donald Trump’s campaign. They put all their chips into the pot, and still couldn’t buy victory.
They continue to attack Rightists this way, and they enjoyed some success with Milo (though he avoided complete defeat, too), but increasingly, they require cooperation from the Right itself in order to destroy enemies. Treacherous, dishonest blowhards like Evan McMullin are solicited by the Left for cooperative action, because the Left lacks the ability to win these battles alone any longer.
And even that was insufficient to totally destroy their chosen target. They did some damage, but Milo was left standing.
Even if a Rightist may lose such a conflict, it behooves us to fight to the end, tooth-and-nail, because even a Leftist victory is Pyrrhic for them, now. Force them to spend ever-more absurd amounts of money and social capital. Bankrupt them on the social stage. Make victory so utterly expensive that even they are afraid to pay the price.
It’s like punching a bully in the nose. You may win the resulting fight, or you may lose, but rest assured, the bully will now have to add this to his mental calculus: if I attack this man, he’ll punch me in the face.
And, increasingly, we are winning these engagements, because the accumulated respect due to original institutions is fading. The skin suit is rotting. Edgar’s carcass is slipping away, revealing the alien cockroach festering underneath the maggot-infested sack of meat.
Every time the left pulls that lever for the outrage machine, they’re spending capital. Every time they start a witch hunt, the skin suit slips a little and the respect we owed the gutted institution is lost.
It won’t be long till our only reaction to outrageous accusations is what it already is in Science Fiction outside their circles: point and make duck noises.
Sarah makes an excellent point here. Someday these fights won’t even be serious any longer. We will laugh at them. They will be outside, looking in. But make no mistake, even then we must remain vigilant. The Marxist is always looking for his way in, and the Marxist will always be with us. Its overly-simplistic moral relativism will always appeal to some, and will always be manipulated by those seeking it as a path to personal power. Call it whatever you will, but even the ancient Greeks understood it well enough:
Remember your Aristophanes:
Praxagora: I want all to have a share of everything and all property to be in common; there will no longer be either rich or poor; […] I shall begin by making land, money, everything that is private property, common to all. […]
Blepyrus: But who will till the soil?
Praxagora: The slaves.